The Influence Of Westernization On Japanese Culture

1542 Words 7 Pages
Japan consists of one of the most culturally rich societies in the world, one of which through history has been greatly affected by the other cultures around it. America has specifically played a huge influence in Japan since the Meiji Period and continues to do so today (Bognar 47f). In fact, “Much of today's Japanese culture is derivative of or responds to American culture” (47). But is America’s influence necessarily a good thing? The westernization, or more specifically the Americanization, of Japan is detrimental to its society, driving the once culturally rich country to a state of Americanized consumerism and modernity. To fully understand the situation of Japan’s current state of westernization and how it is detrimental to its …show more content…
Following our example of modern society, the modernization of the country became strictly tied to westernization in the fact that our customs were invading there’s (Bognar 49) and destroying their once foreign culture (Delanty 118). American culture began to flood Japan, “violating everything it came into contact with” (Harootunian 58). As the years went on, Hollywood began to take over, and America’s mass consumerism was becoming evident in Japanese society (59). Although some may not have seen it, the importing of these “American” aspects of culture was changing its society to bring out the “worst out of their country”, (Snyder 1) violating their previously harmonic views of society and unification, which strictly contrasted with America’s (Horootunian 58).
Japan’s younger post-war generation is called the shinji rui, which translates to “new breed”. “This generation became of age in an era of rampant consumerism, increased leisure time, and vigorous pursuit of pleasure” (all of which are aspects seen in America’s youth culture today), causing the traditional values of hard work and honor of which Japan was based on to begin disappearing (Kurugami and Keyser 73). People believe that American film is the main cause for the placement of America’s corrupt and materialistic life-style in other countries such as Japan
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After all, fast food exemplifies the “American way of life” (Beck 40). Although it may seem harmless to society to have a McDonalds on every street corner, the introduction of non-traditional food into societies such as Japan resulted in a huge loss of traditional values (Oswald 1). It’s no struggle to find a McDonalds in Japan, however, considering that it has three times as many stores as California, although both are roughly the same size (Japan’s 1). Jo Sam Lee tells the story of his visit to Japan, bringing to light the extent to which America’s food culture has effected it’s society: “Several years ago, I went to Tokyo, Japan. At that time, it wasn't difficult to find an American restaurant there; all are almost the same as in the United States. I could buy American fast food everywhere… The problem is that when American companies are set up in other countries, they don’t just sell foods or goods. They try to sell American culture” (Oswald

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